If you ask any snowboarder, “budget” is a term that’s pretty rare when it comes to picking out new equipment. Snowboarding is an extreme sport in extreme conditions, so unless you’re buying second-hand or at a discount, safe equipment that performs to a high level isn’t cheap. That being said, there’s always a lower end of any price scale.
The best budget snowboard boots are those that don’t sacrifice comfort, fit, and stability. Boots with traditional or speed-lace systems will cost less than BOA or hybrid systems, and all-mountain boots might be better than a specialized alternative. You’ll also find deals at the end of the season.
For this article, we set a price limit of $300 on the boots we tried out. While some model variants creep over this, anything less than $300 brand new can be considered “budget” when it comes to snowboarding boots. Now, it’s time to take a look at our favorite budget snowboard boots.
Best Snowboard Boots in a Budget
- Van’s Aura Pro Snowboarding Boots (Top Pick)
- Burton Moto Boa Snowboard Boot
- K2 Darko Snowboard Boots
- Van’s Hi-Standard OG Snowboard Boots (Budget Buy)
- Burton Ruler BOA Snowboard Boots (High End)
- Salomon Launch Snowboard Boots
Compare Top Budget Snowboard Boots
|Boots Name||Overall Score||Bottom Line||Price|
Vans Aura Pro
Excellent all-mountain boots that blend fashion and function.
|Check Out on Amazon|
|89||Super comfy budget boots for beginners||Check Out on Amazon|
|85||Nicely priced boots for freestyle fans||Check Out on Amazon|
Vans Hi-Standard OG
A laidback and stylish boot for the casual rider
|Check Out on Amazon|
Great all-rounders for intermediate riders
|Check Out on Amazon|
|76||All-mountain boots with superior board feel||Check Out on Amazon|
Detailed Analysis Of The Best Budget Snowboard Boots
1. Vans Aura Pro (Best All-Mountain Boots)
Overall Score: 94
- Ideal for all styles of riding from piste to park
- High-tech Hybrid BOA lacing system for superior fit and adjustability
- May not be suitable for complete beginners
The Aura Pro’s from Vans are amazingly comfortable thanks to the fantastic use of merino Smartwool for the lining, making them warm, soft, odor-resistant, and breathable.
Vans also put their decades of shoe-making experience to use by incorporating their extra comfy UltraCush tech and a Comfort Flex neoprene toe box, so it almost felt like wearing a pair of regular shoes walking around off the board rather than a pair of heavy-duty snowboard boots.
Which raises an interesting question: Can you use regular boots as snowboard boots?
Vans’ latest version of their X-Cage technology offers superb heel hold, so we didn’t experience any lift when putting these boots through their paces, and the PowerCuff is a somewhat unique feature.
The cuff offers even more support at the top of the snowboard boot for a great calf fit and a more responsive ride.
It can also be wrapped around the inner liner or the outer tongue to customize the level of engagement, perfect for switching styles when hitting the piste after the park or vice versa.
The lacing system used in the Aura Pro’s is unparalleled, combining the speed and convenience of a BOA system with the reliability and customization potential of a traditional lace-up system.
The Hybrid BOA is conveniently located on the instep of each boot rather than at the front like most boots that utilize BOA, and the Custom Slide Guide also lets you adjust the flex.
Vans created an exceptionally versatile all-mountain boot with the Aura Pro’s.
With a flex rating of 6/10, the boots are soft enough to ride the park or street but stiff enough to be responsive on groomed slopes and out in the backcountry.
The UltraCush midsole we mentioned earlier wasn’t just comfortable; it also gave us great board feel on all terrains.
While these boots may not be ideal for complete beginners, they’re an excellent pick for intermediate or advanced all-mountain snowboarders.
The Aura Pro’s aren’t the cheapest snowboard boots on this list or even the cheapest Vans boots on this list, but it’s fair to say they sit at the budget end of what you can hope to pay for a reliable pair.
Having said that, these are more than just reliable; they’re outstanding, feeling and performing like boots twice their price.
2. Burton Moto (Most Beginner-Friendly)
Overall Score: 89
- Feel great straight out of the box
- Great for beginners
- Low price
- Inconsistent sizing, usually running small
We were definitely impressed with Burton’s Moto snowboard boots from a comfort perspective.
Where most boots take at least a few days to break in, these were almost perfect straight out of the box, which is no mean feat.
On top of that, the cushioned, ultra-lightweight DynoLITE outsoles kept our feet super toasty thanks to the foil lining designed to reflect heat back towards the inside of the boot.
As we mentioned above, the Burton Moto’s fit incredibly well, especially after you’ve heat-molded the inner liner.
However, if there’s one thing that lets these snowboard boots down, it’s that the sizing seems to be a bit inconsistent. They run small, but by how much can vary from person to person.
We found that half a size up was perfect, but some folks have had to jump a whole size which isn’t ideal if you’re buying boots online before trying them on.
The Burton Moto’s actually come in two versions.
The first is the Moto Lace which features a typical speed lace system, and it’s simple yet effective and lets you adjust both the upper and lower sections of the boot.
The Moto BOA features, unsurprisingly, the BOA system.
However, with just one BOA, this version is less adjustable than its lace counterpart, so at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and whether you prefer convenience over customization.
The Burton Moto’s sit at 3/10 on the flex scale and have a fairly flat sole, so while they have a great board feel, they’re not quite as versatile as other boots.
They’re a little too soft while carving, making it trickier to hit top speeds with full confidence.
However, they make great freestyle boots and offer excellent maneuverability at lower speeds, making them a great choice for beginners.
The Moto’s come at two price points, with the Lace version being the cheapest on this list.
BOA systems are always a bit pricier, so you can expect to spend around $50 more if you want the more high-tech system.
Whichever you choose, both are great value for money and make a great first boot for newcomers to the sport who are ready to take the plunge and move away from renting their snowboarding gear.
3. K2 Darko (Best for Freestylers)
Overall Score: 85
- Fit well out of the box with consistent sizing
- Suitable for freestylers of all abilities
- Not great for carving or deep powder
Like Burton, K2 has focused on achieving out-of-the-box comfort and achieved some reasonable success with it.
They’ve used internal J-bars for extra ankle support, and the lining is pretty forgiving in terms of flex. We found they absorbed shock reasonably well but not perfectly.
K2s RollSole Outsole aims to offer a better range of motion without sacrificing support or grip, and we didn’t experience any uncomfortable pressure points, but ironically, we could’ve done with a bit more wiggle room in the toe box.
The Darko’s are definitely on the narrower side, but not by much. At most, we’d say they run about half a size bigger than expected, so they’re fairly true to size.
We didn’t experience too much heel lift, but it wasn’t non-existent; the Darko’s come with an internal ankle harness, so it was surprising to find even a little, given that extra feature.
The K2 Darko’s use a traditional lacing system which is the most adjustable type, even if it can be a bit fiddly on the move.
These are both reasons why this setup is generally preferred by freestylers.
However, they do feature an interesting bit of tech; the BOA Conda is K2’s patented inner lacing system that lets you adjust the tightness of the liner around the ankle from the outside of the boot.
It’s an interesting use of BOA, and it works to an extent, but there’s room for improvement.
The Darko’s flat sole and low tread depth means they’re nice and flexy with a great board feel, but you’ll want to pair them with a soft to medium-soft flex snowboard to get the most out of them.
For how flexible they are, they don’t do a bad job when it comes to leaning into those bigger carves at high speed, but they’re at their best at a lower pace, either in the park or meandering down tree runs.
They’re suitable for most beginners, and even an advanced freestyler would find them suitable. However, if you’re on the taller or heavier side, you may want boots that are a bit stiffer.
Sitting between the Burton Moto BOAs and the Vans Aura Pros from a price perspective, you should definitely be able to pick up a brand new pair of K2 Darko’s for under $300.
If you’re not going to spend much time freestyle snowboarding, then there are some better boots out there, but if you’re going to spend most of your time in the park, these are a great value choice.
4. Vans Hi-Standard OG (Most Wallet-Friendly)
Overall Score: 84
- Great aesthetic
- Superior comfort
- Great value for money
- Not particularly responsive
- Lower quality liner lacing system
Not only do the Vans Hi-Standards have that skate-shoe vibe, but they feel pretty close to the real deal too.
The extra thin, flexible sole offers excellent board feel, and while you’ll want to heat-mold the liner before you ride, they’re extremely comfortable both on and off the board.
They’ve got great heat retention and benefit from all the usual funky-named Vans tech, like the UltraCush liner and POPCUSH footbed.
Before heat molding, the Hi-Standards were a little on the tighter side but didn’t pinch once broken in. They’re true-to-size, but we still experienced a little heel lift.
That’s not uncommon for this laidback style of snowboard boot, so it wasn’t unexpected and didn’t impact the ride too much.
Like the Aura Pros, the Hi-Standards also feature the PleasureCuff that adjusts nicely around most calf sizes.
Just like the shoes they emulate, the Hi-Standards use a traditional lacing system, so you’ve got a ton of control over how you adjust your setup.
They also have an adjustable liner harness, but the plastic pulley system got stuck a few times for us, and the build quality wasn’t great; there were a handful of occasions where we were worried that a robust tug might’ve snapped it.
Due to their softness, the Vans Hi-Standards are nowhere near as responsive as the Aura Pros, but in fairness, they’re not really designed to be.
If you’re in the park or buttering around, jibbing, or hitting the tree runs, then these boots are a ton of fun and great for beginners, freestylers, and casual riders.
You won’t want to try racing in these as they’re not great at high speeds or for carving, but that’s not the type of riding they’re meant for in the first place.
The Vans Hi-Standard OG snowboard boots are the cheapest on this list, costing around the same as the Lace version of the Burton Motos at around the $200 mark.
Truthfully, the only way you’re going to find a dependable pair of snowboard boots for any less than that is if they’re second-hand or on sale.
5. Burton Ruler
Overall Score: 83
- Great fit straight out of the box
- Suitable for all-mountain riding
- BOA version is fairly expensive
Just like the Motos, the Rulers are extremely comfortable boots from the get-go, and most of the time, you won’t even need to bother heat molding the liners.
They’re not overly plush, but this adds to the responsiveness, and nothing is lost when it comes to comfort.
The Burton Rulers have a remarkably good heel hold; we barely experienced any slippage whatsoever while riding.
The liner has a standard harness around the ankle with a velcro strap at the top, which was more than enough support, and the backstay and tongue both created a nice snug fit between our feet and the binding that also helped with responsiveness.
The Burton Rulers also come in two variants. The first is the speed-lace system, although, unlike many boots with this setup, you can adjust the tension of both the lower and upper sections.
The laces themselves are extremely well-built, so they shouldn’t snap no matter how hard you pull on them.
The BOA version of the Ruler comes with two BOAs, one for each section, which eliminates the lack of customization that puts a lot of riders off choosing this system.
There’s a good distance between the two which really lets you fine-tune the fit to your riding style and foot shape.
The Rulers are good all-round boots, sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.
They’re around the middle of the flex scale, so they’re nice and maneuverable at low speeds and playful enough to use in the park, but they can also hold a pretty decent carve at speed.
They’re a great choice for strong beginners and intermediates who like to make the most of everything the mountain has to offer.
The speed-lace version of the Burton Rider shouldn’t cost more than $300, but it’s not far off. The double-BOA variant, however, will bump the price up over that by a fairly significant amount.
There’s no denying these are great snowboard boots but considering the cheaper version has multiple lacing zones.
Truthfully, we don’t see the point in choosing the BOA version unless you’re a die-hard fan of that lacing system.
6. Salomon Launch BOA
Overall Score: 76
- Excellent heel hold that’s adjustable on the fly
- Great board feel
- Not much traction when off the board
We found the Launch to be a nice and comfortable boot without any irritating pressure points once we got a few runs under our belts.
At first, they felt a little too tight in places, but the issue went away eventually. If the problem persisted, it’s likely that heat molding the inner liner would have ironed out any issues.
Although these boots were hard to get into at first, once inside, the fit was solid.
They come up a little narrower than other boots, which is fairly normal for Salomon models, but they’re probably half a size up from being true-to-size.
There was also virtually no heel lift, thanks to the liner’s secondary BOA system.
While most double-BOA systems let you adjust the upper and lower sections of the boot independently, the Launch lets you control the outer and inner sections instead.
The downside is that you can’t customize the fit as much as you’d think.
However, being able to tighten the inner liner on the go means you can tighten up the heel hold any time you feel it’s getting loose, which is a nice feature that isn’t too common.
The Launch sits in the middle of the flex scale, making it another good all-mountain pick.
You can carve at high speeds while still getting good control when you’re not going as fast, and they’ll hold their own in the snow park.
Unlike most snowboard boots with stiffer soles, these have great board feel, but the trade-off is a much shallower tread on the underside of the boot.
When you’re riding, this won’t matter, but it does mean you’ve got less grip underfoot when you’re not on your board.
The Launch BOAs are a shade over the $300 mark, but if you’re a fan of that lacing system, it’s a pretty reasonable price compared to many other BOA boots.
We know these are creeping out of “cheaper” territory, but they’re still a solid option if you can afford to stretch your budget.
The cheapest snowboard boots we tried that met our high standards were the Burton Moto Lace and the Vans Hi-Standard OG, both coming in at around the $200 mark, which is a superb value for that price point.
However, while being great for beginners and casual riders, they weren’t the best for high-speed carving or riding in the backcountry.
With that in mind, our favorite budget snowboard boots were the Vans Aura Pros.
Not only do they look the part, these were so versatile and comfortable that we’re adamant they’re the best all-mountain boots you’ll find for under $300.